Ally McLaws


Journalist Ally McLaws has died after a long battle with cancer. He had gained a wider audience in the last year for his regular series with The Herald about living with terminal lung cancer, a fight shortened in the end by contracting Covid. McLaws made his name in the 1990s, as chief reporter for the Evening Times with a special interest in health news. He was soon promoted to becoming the news editor for the newspaper, during which time it gained a reputation for its crusading progressive journalism and advocacy for local issues in the Clyde Valley. McLaws became Assistant editor and was on the fast track to an editor’s position with one of the major UK newspapers.

However, unlike many modern journalists only interested in clicks and tweets, Ally’s passion for health care was stronger than his news desk ambitions, and so in 2000 he left journalism to become the director of communications for NHS Glasgow. He also served as a director on the board, and also the communications man, for the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice in Mosspark: roles which he used to campaign the government for better and faster access to life saving treatment for patients.

In 2019 he left the NHS, setting up a public relations company, McLaws Consultancy, with which he aimed to lobby the treasury in favour of his chosen subjects. In this role, he raised over 50, 000 for cancer charity, but within months of taking on the new role, he was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer which had spread to his brain. He started a popular weekly series in The Herald about his treatment, and despite his rapidly deteriorating health, he was still helping charities, hospices and funds for covid sufferers, even on his own deathbed.  He was a unique hit for this chap’s Pan Breed team, and a reminder that even in these cynical times, journalists could still act as a force for good.

Ally McLaws
November 1957 – 15 October 2021